A 101-year-old WWII veteran on a mission to meet the governors of all 50 states left Wilmington Wednesday disappointed he couldn’t meet Delaware’s, but will try again.
Sidney Walton, who fought in China, Burma and Indian theater, stopped at the Sheraton Hotel in Wilmington as police escorted him from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia on his self-appointed task to encourage people to meet and talk to veterans.
Deemed the “No Regrets Tour,” in reference to Sidney missing the opportunity to meet Civil War veterans when he was younger, the effort has been underway for two and one-half years.
“He regrets that he never met Civil War veterans when he was young, and to make up for that regret he is so happy to be going out there giving everyone the opportunity to meet a World War II veteran before it’s too late,” said his son, Paul Walton. “He’s having the time of his life.”
Governors are states’ top representatives, he said.
“They’re the ones that garner the attention in each state,” Paul Walton said. “We need the attention, quite frankly, to get the word out so we’re going to the highest elected official in each state.”
The pair only have 15 governors left to go. They’ll likely try Carney again after Sidney turns 102 on Feb. 11, Paul Walton said.
“Tell Gov. Carney that we’ll meet in Dover, we’ll meet him in Dewey Beach, we’ll meet him in Milford, we’ll meet him in Newark, we’ll meet him in Wilmington, and if we have to, we’ll meet him in Bethany or Rehoboth,” Paul Walton said.
Carney had a conflicting appointment on Wednesday, Paul Walton said.
Sidney has been able to meet President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron at the 75th anniversary of Normandy.
The duo has been travelling virtually every day for the last two years. The pandemic has not slowed down their drive, only their means to do so.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, they would often take flights around the country and rent cars when they landed.
Now they’ve switched to driving in their own car, all the way from San Diego, California.
But that list of governors keeps shrinking, and next week they are scheduled to meet Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia.